Wildfire Danger Continues

By: Meredith Stancik Email
By: Meredith Stancik Email

The threat of wildfires is on the rise.

High temperatures mixed with gusty winds and no rain make for a dangerous combination. That's why experts are on high alert.

Nature's fury swept through central Texas this week, forcing more than 1,000 people to evacuate near Killeen. The fire scorched at least two hundred acres. No one was hurt, but experts say the blaze is a foretaste of what's to come.

"Unfortunately when these high pressures break down, like we're seeing today and tomorrow, typically you'll get some winds," Tom Spence with the Texas Forest Service said. "We were hoping that we wouldn't get such strong winds as we're seeing, but that is what we're seeing and that's a real concern for us."

The Texas Forest Service is monitoring hot spots across Texas, as well as resources and aircraft that battle wildfires. It's projected firefighters will stay busy this summer, because of activity in the pacific.

"Its very typical for Texas when we have this La Nina pattern to have a very active winter fire season," Spencer said. "That's what we've experienced. It's been very active."

Dry, gusty conditions aren't helping matters. A wind advisory remains for portions of the Brazos Valley until 10p.m. Wednesday.

A look at the Texas Forest Service website

here

shows, there are no burn bans in our area yet, but 100 Texas counties have restricted outdoor burning.

To prevent wildfires from destroying your home or property, the Texas Forest Service says to follow these guidelines.

Store gasoline in approved safety cans away from buildings.
Keep combustibles, like firewood, wooden picnic tables and boats away from structures.
Remove branches from trees to a height of 15 feet or more.
Have fire tools handy, like a ladder, shovel and a bucket for water.
Be aware of emergency exits in your home.
Have garden hoses at all sides of your home.
Assure that you and your family know all emergency exits from your neighborhood
In rural areas, clear a fuel break of at least three times the fuel length around all structures
Clear roof surfaces and gutters regularly to avoid build-up of flammable materials such as leaves and other debris
LPG tanks should be far enough away from buildings for valves to be shut off in case of fire

A few things you should be aware of during dry, warm periods

Know if there is or is not a burn ban in place for your city, town or county
If you burn, clear a large area on the ground of any combustible material, such as grass, leaves or scrap wood
Do not leave your burn pile unattended and have a hose ready

For more tips visit the Texas Forest Service website

here

.


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